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The peak of ecumenics

In good weather, I was told, you might even be able to see Mont Blanc from up here. Here on the rising Jura mountains with its peaks behind you and Lake Geneva in front of you. But on a rainy day like this, you hardly had a chance to even glimpse the Alps on the other side of the lake. The day was to include other things than beautiful mountain landscapes, even as the 35 students from all over the world set out to climb new, ecumenical peaks. It was the Dies academicus of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, with the motto "Pilgrimage of Justice, Reconciliation, and unity.”

One month later: the assembly at a glance

I still recall how athletes took turns to ensure the Ineos marathon was a success. Men and women. For a moment, I thought they would lose the plot and render the race a failure. They were not elderly, just athletes accustomed to running different races, from different parts of the world, united in helping one man send the “no human is limited” message to the whole world. 

Let flowers bloom a new

Gathered at a time when wars and conflicts have emerged one after the other, socioeconomic situations in various countries have deteriorated, and greed for power and wealth has manifested, putting people's and the planet's welfare in danger. Hate, discrimination, injustice, exclusion, and various forms of dehumanization have plagued society and put lives at risk. Faced with difficult situations, the assembly appears as a new garden plot where seeds and plants of all kinds are cultivated, seeds of hope, dreams, and visions for a better world.

Reflections from a 1978/79 alumna on Bossey reunion at the WCC 11th Assembly

At the meeting for Bossey alumni, I represented the “oldest” alumna of the 1978/79 term, and it was good to see what a chance Bossey studies and encounters not only continue to give but increase for further ecumenical involvement and for carrying ecumenical messages. Today the studies at Bossey are well institutionalized and established at the University of Geneva. My own former classmates were not present as alumni: The Methodist Bishop Sally Dyck (USA) is again represented in the WCC central committee and was busy at that moment.

Pentecostals at the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany 2022

As a Pentecostal, I have dreamed dreams” and had visions aplenty, but often it has been the WCC that brought those dreams and visions to life. What is found in this report fulfills a vision that I took with me to Geneva in 1989 in a meeting with then-general secretary Emilio Castro. During that visit, I called on the WCC to bring together 120 Pentecostal scholars from around the world to the WCC 7th Assembly known as Canberra 91.

Bossey reunion at the 11th assembly

It was one of the first days of the 11th assembly when I met an old Bossey friend. We had not seen each other for 24 years, although it felt we met yesterday. We shared memories of our Graduate School of Ecumenical Studies in Bossey in 1998 and remembered the names of our friends. We spoke about Bossey as a life-changing experience for both of us.

Under the canopy of yellow leaves

Ushered into the venue of the World Council of Churches (WCC) 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, one finds a sanctuary, a safe space under the canopy of yellow leaves. Under the shade of trees with leaves slowly going through the withering process is the springing of hope for a better world engaged in conversations and dialogues that promote life at its fullness.

On the ambiguities of border and our quest for unity today

In the world today, border is far from a neutral or natural notion. Depending on the context of interpretation, it evokes different thoughts and emotions. For some, it may recall an expensive wall of xenophobia. For others, it could mean a gateway to safety and refuge, or the relentless defense against hostile aggressors. As we ponder the theme “Christ’s love (re)moves borders,” we shall begin by asking: What are borders? At a time when world powers are trying to change borders by force, what does it mean for Christ’s love to (re)move borders? And, ultimately, how do we discern between ideological pacifism and true unity?

What will we hear?

I believed Christian unity to be an ideal we strive for, perhaps analogous to the saying "if you shoot for the moon, you'll land in the stars." In the times I have seen Christian Unity manifest, often in times of prayer and most often when hands and feet are moving to answer prayer, it has been fleeting, almost illusory. 

Staying spiritually connected through song

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in physical distancing, it has not made us any less of a global community. On the contrary, these troubling times have revealed just how connected we truly are. We have all been forced to find creative ways of staying connected whether it is from the smallest unit of a nuclear family to large transnational companies.